Creating a balanced wine list - well tying to!
Before my career as a distributor I worked in a number of 'hatted' restaurants and quickly discovered my passion for wine and became a "Sommelier". Here are the main mistakes I have made along the way...
The biggest mistakes I made was listing wines solely on the basis of merit and quality - I soon found myself with a list skewed towards $100+ Brunello di Montalcino. So it is important to realise that your opinion is not the only one that matters and just as important to cover all the price points and all the main categories.
If your wine list starts a $40 Pinot Noir, then you should offer a $50 Pinot Noir before a adding a $60 Pinot or you get in a situation of having a cluster of five Pinots between $130 - $150.
Not so long ago there was a backlash against the success of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and I know a few Sommeliers who refused to list these wines. The simple fact is that if you think you know better and deny customers what they want, they will go elsewhere.
Support your locals - Tourists who visit your restaurant want to support local wineries. Remember shipping wines around the world adds 15% to their cost and reduces their value.
Support small wineries and distributors - By listing wines sold by the larger wineries / distributors you have to be careful of where else it is sold. your competitor might have similar list down the road. Or if a customer sees a wine on your list and pulls out his phone to price check it and finds it 70% cheaper online then it makes the restaurant look over priced.
I hope you found this short blog entertaining and maybe even educational. Kingfisher wines is always available to support its partners with wine list advise if asked.